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BEIJING: Five of China’s largest state banks, including the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank, have cut interest rates on some deposits from Friday, according to the banks’ websites.

Bank of China and Bank of Communications have also adjusted their rates on some deposits from Friday, notices on their websites showed.

The cuts could offset pressure on banks’ net interest margins - a key gauge of profitability - and provide room to reduce lending costs as the government urged banks to support the economy.

Rates for 1-year and 2-year time deposits were cut by 10 basis points (bps) and 20 bps, respectively, and rates for 3-year and 5-year time deposits were cut by 25 bps.

China’s yuan inches lower

The moves came after Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China’s largest lender by assets, on Thursday said it would cut interest rates on some deposits.

Sources with knowledge of the matter had said on Thursday that some major Chinese commercial banks would cut time deposit rates on Friday.

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